Saturday, September 22, 2012

It's Been A Busy Week At The Visitors' Centre

Eva at the Lingfield train station
This is is my friend, Eva, who came for a visit few weeks ago. We invited her to come while the temple was closed during the first part of September for cleaning and maintenance, thinking that we might have a little less busy schedule at the Visitors' Centre. Well, that wasn't necessarily true. The Visitors' Centre remains open when the temple shuts down, so we still had visitors to greet and work to do, but we enjoyed having Eva share part of that time with us - and so did our sister missionaries. We were all sad to see her go home!

Eva and I met eight years ago in Szazhalombatta, Hungary, where she hosted my friend and me while we were travelling with Clog America. She graciously opened the brand-new home her sons had just finished for her to Miriam Smith and I while we attended the "World Folkloriada" in Budapest and "Summerfest" in her town. Amy and Emily were part of the Clog America performing team. It was one of the highlights of my life to be there and to rub shoulders with groups of dancers and musicians from 80 different countries as we came together to present festivals nearly every night for two weeks, but I digress....

It was the first time I had ever stayed in the home of a volunteer host that I had never met before. Eva immediately made us feel welcome and comfortable. She is a retired chemical engineer with two grown sons. She spoke enough English that we could communicate easily and we soon developed a strong bond of friendship. (Now her English is excellent, and I am ashamed to say my Hungarian is not much better than it was in 2004.)

Over the years, we have stayed in touch off and on and have had the opportunity to meet several more times, both in Utah and in Szazhalombatta. Eva has become one of my dearest friends. We marvel that two "old" women who grew up as "enemies" during the Cold War (at least, that's what our respective governments wanted us to believe) could have so much in common! In many ways, we are alike, and together we have had some wonderful trips to beautiful Lake Balaton and other areas of Hungary as well as to destinations all over Utah and California. Who would have ever thought we would meet in London, England? One of the tender mercies of our mission is that her plane ticket to come to Gatwick Airport is only about $200 compared to over $1000 to come to Salt Lake City. We hope she will be able to come again while we are still here.

Twice, Eva has presented us with photo books of our trips together. She takes beautiful pictures and we cherish the books she has given us.

Eva's books: cover photos she took in
Draper, Utah and Newport Beach, California

A day in Park City

While she was here last week, Eva walked around the temple grounds several times when I was busy at the Visitors' Centre. (Early one morning, while the temple was closed, I joined her and a few minutes into our walk we ran into Elder Russell M. Nelson taking a picture of his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson, on the front steps of the temple. They were here on a very brief stopover. What a treat!)

With Eva's permission, I am posting some of the pictures she took while she was here - with a few of mine thrown in for good measure. Eva has captured some new views of the London Temple grounds and a few of the places we visited.

The front steps of the temple as seen from the A22

The Gate House

Welcome to the temple

From the gardens

The temple grounds

A beacon to the world

Another plane on approach to Gatwick

We drive a Vauxhall the sisters have named "Daisy"

The Christus


Sister Rodregues
Elder and Sister Terry
My closet office

The view from our kitchen window

Dinner at home

Sister Cardona and Sister Howard

A picnic on the temple grounds

Another sunny day and another picnic

Don, me, Sister Corbett,  Eva, Sister Cabrera, and Sister Rodrigues


The Manor House

Coming in for a landing

On Sunday, after church, we walked around Greenwich Park.

The Greenwich Prime Meridian -
one foot each in the eastern and western hemispheres.
Love those tree tunnels!

The white cliffs of Dover

British seagulls looking for a handout

Fish and chips in Folkestone

Thanks for your visit and the photos, Eva!                                  ~Pat~

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